Excerpts from December 15, 2000 Article, "Not All Fabrics are Created Equal", by Jim Salinas
Quilters sometimes ask why fabrics available at chain stores are cheaper than fabrics at their favorite quilt shop. Many assume these fabrics are identical. As a sales representative for Moda Fabrics and having been in the fabric industry for 20 years, I appreciate the opportunity to educate consumers about the variations in the fabric they purchase.
Although many times these fabrics appear to be the same - they are not! What are often sold to chain stores are fabrics that are "second" or inferior quality. For some reason - could be printing or could be quality of fabrics - these are not top quality goods. Chains are very concerned with the bottom line and this concern with profit is top on the list of considerations when purchasing fabrics for their customers. A knowledgeable sales staff is another luxury that chains do not consider important. Quilt shops choose to offer not only top qualkity goods but provide knowledgeable sales people to assist their customers with their fabric purchasing decisions.
Your local quilt shop has many advantages over chain stores. Your local shop can shop just for you and for what will appeal to consumers in your area. Also, as new trends develop, your local shop can respond quicker than chains and can add new items and delete items as their local consumers dictate. A local person who is also interested in quilting and other forms of sewing generally owns your local shop. These people are able to offer services that are not available at nationally owned fabric stores.